22 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Our People Thursday May 18 2017 The Star Jacqueline Yoder Teacher aims Teacher Jacqueline Yoder has left one of the city’s most prestigious private schools to help turn Linwood College around. Bridget Rutherford spoke to her about why she did it, being an investment banker and speaking Te Reo PASSIONATE: Jacqueline Yoder moved to Linwood College at the start of this year. PHOTO: GILBERT WEALLEANS So can you tell me what your role at Linwood College is? So I’m the head of learning area, English. I’m also leader of gifted and talented, and enrichment programmes. One of the new moves in education is communities of learning. Rather than schools being separated entities, schools create connections between them. Linwood College has two communities of learning. We’ve got the bays cluster of schools, and the tamai cluster, which are the schools near us such as Te Waka Unua. One of the things I’ve been doing is setting up a programme whereby year six to eight students from both partner primary schools, and our year seven and eight pupils, come to Linwood for extension classes. We’ve just done debating, and we will do maths, science and culture and others. Teachers from Linwood College with particular expertise can work with primary schools to build everybody’s capacities. It’s a new programme and it’s exciting to be part of. When did you start working at Linwood College? I started at the beginning of this year. I came after spending 10 years at St Andrew’s College. It’s been fantastic so far, it’s such a great school and we have wonderful learners here. I loved St Andrew’s as well. Linwood has such a diverse environment, and I want to help people see what a diverse and vibrant school it is. Why the move? I had shadowed Richard Edmundson (Linwood College principal) as part of my masters in leadership when he was principal at Hornby High, and then I went to Linwood for placement. I had such a great time at St Andrew’s but I wanted to go somewhere where I could make a big difference in the local community I live in, because I’m from Corsair Bay. I just feel Linwood is on the cusp of incredible things. I feel really privileged to be part of the journey. I’ve also had a lot of involvement in digital learning, so I wanted to be involved in that.
The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday May 18 2017 23 to build up self-belief in students Are there many differences between the schools? I think what I’ve learned more is there are more similarities in our learners than our differences. They’re just as passionate about their learning here. But cultural diversity is the main difference. For me I really focus hard on building self-belief in students. The learners here have incredible problem solving skills. It’s about building that self-belief and putting in structures here so they can express those views. To put it bluntly, St Andrew’s is one of the city’s most prestigious private schools, and Linwood has had its share of issues over the last few years. Did you see the move being challenging? I’ve been here on placement before so I knew the college. I think I was ready for a bigger challenge. When I came here, Richard had such an influence here, and so did acting principal Linda Tame before him. So once I got here there was a real readiness for change. I’ve been really supported, I’ve been able to develop enrichment programmes and every new initiative that we’ve looked at putting in has been so well supported. And since I have DIFFERENT: Jacqueline Yoder moved from her role as dean and teacher at St Andrew’s (left) to be part of Linwood College’s redevelopment. been here there have been no nity. Linwood is a place where behavioural issues, and all the there’s a recognition our cultural students are excited. I think they diversity defines our identity and sense there is a real movement. it’s hugely important. A learner And you’re having quite an comes here and can feel safe in integral role in the school’s their culture. That’s a special redevelopment aren’t you? thing to have in our school, and Getting to watch Richard as it’s exciting because I’m learning a leader, it’s like masterclass too. every day. Being part of the What do you hope to see redevelopment, because I was a happen in Linwood’s redevelopment? dean at St Andrew’s, being able to build on those skills I’m in a I hope to see that Linwood College becomes the school of choice prime position to help here. I’m a pretty driven person, I like to be for our community. That we continue to build on the strengths in places where there’s challenge and opportunity. The thing about we’re clearly developing now. Linwood is I thought there’d That we’re a place where our innovation and cultural responsive- be more challenges, but there’s actually been so much opportuness is an example and a shining light in secondary schooling in New Zealand. We want Linwood to be the benchmark. And I think it can be, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think that. Where were you before St Andrew’s? I spent a period at St Bede’s and before that almost 10 years in London working as an investment banker. It was good to have that long overseas experience, and then I was ready to come home. While I was there and outside the classroom I ended up deciding that education was for me. I’ve just completed my masters in secondary school leadership. I’ve always wanted to live by the sea and we live in Corsair Bay. I have three children, aged 14, 11 and eight. So I guess when you’re not working you’re a bit of a taxi service. I’ve got a lovely husband who does a lot of that (laughs). I’m pretty intensively focused here at the moment. I love doing a lot of running, I’ve done a couple of half marathons, but for now I like to call it maintenance running. And I hear you are a Te Reo speaker and teacher. What drew you to that? I have taught Te Reo in all my roles up until now. I was head of the Te Reo programme at St Andrew’s, which I set up and ran. I also taught it at St Bede’s. I think that’s another reason why I came to Linwood, even though I’m not teaching it, there are lots of opportunities to speak with my students. I did Te Reo at university. I would say I’m competent in it. Why did you get into teaching initially? My father was a school principal. It’s in the genes, I think I was biologically predisposed. I was always around teachers, even when I left to get into banking, I think my heart was always in teaching. The 2017 Annual sefton TUG OF WAR sunday 21 st may Gates open at 9am, 1st pull at 10am rain, hail or snow Teams of 8 competing in the Ancient sport of Tug of War, Gumboot throw competition, Highland dancing, FastGrass Truckpull competition. Great day out for the family – FREE ENTRY for spectators, FREE children’s entertainment, market stall, hot food, coffee and licensed bar. At Sefton School, only 30 minutes from Christchurch www.tugofwar.sefton.org.nz Please support our sponsors.. Rangiora